A baiting strategy based around just four boilies at a time has accounted for an incredible run of big barbel topped by this 17lb 1 oz specimen.
Stewart Barnes only began targeting a pressured River Ouse tributary in Bedfordshire late last year and he’s now smashed his personal best for the species three times in four months and he says it’s due to the fact that he does things a little bit differently to the rest.
To ensure the resident barbel hone straight in on his hookbaits, the warehouse manager from Hemel Hempstead will loosefeed just a single boilie and two halves into his chosen swim before lowering his simple rig into the river.
“When a river is fished as much as this you have to do something different so I never feed any more than one-and-a-half baits by hand and then a tiny pva bag of crumb,” Stewart told Angling Times.
“I take a small pot that contains around 10 baits to the bank with me and this helps me maintain my disclipline as then I’m not tempted to feed any more as I’m convinced that this minimal approach to feeding has been the key to my success.”
The 41-year-old’s recent run of form has also seen him bank barbel topping the scales at 15lb 6oz, 14lb 7oz, 13lb 3oz, 10lb 2oz, countless smaller fish and also five chub over the 5lb mark to a best of 5lb 10oz.
Stewart is a field tester for the Hook Bait Company and all of his fish have fallen to their Barbel 5 Boilies fished on a ‘combi rig’